Take the Oath — The Next Magic Expansion Makes Landfall in January

Get ready for Oath of the Gatewatch!  Set 2 of 2 in the Battle for Zendikar block!

Number of Cards


Prerelease Events

January 16–17, 2016

Prerelease Format

Sealed (4 Oath of the Gatewatch/2 Battle for Zendikar)

Release Date

January 22, 2016

Launch Weekend

January 22–24, 2016

Game Day

February 13–14, 2016


January marks the release date of the next Magic: The Gathering set – Oath of the Gatewatch. This is the second set in the two part Battle for Zendikar block and brings the giant Eldrazi Kozilek into the mix along with some new mechanics.

The entire list of mythics from the set has been leaked and is available online. That said, Wizards of the Coast has been quick to track down the source of the leaks and has made a strong statement about how leaks damage the excitement and anticipation for a set.  From official sources though along with what we’ve seen, here’s what we know about the new set:

Kozilek will be the big Eldrazi mythic in the set while Emrakul remains absent. Kozilek’s Legendary card was seen early on and carried as part of its casting cost the new symbols for colourless mana.  He looks pretty impressive.

A new set of Expeditions will be included in the set (as expected). Look forward to puling these full art lands.

Colourless mana is now treated as distinctly different from generic mana and now has it’s own mana symbol (a diamond). Colourless mana has no colour while generic may have no colour or be of any colour.  Kozilek, for example, will require two colorless mana and eight generic mana from any source.

We will get basic lands that produce colourless mana. These will be in the set’s common slot.  This functions similar to other sources of colourless mana in the past, except now this mana is depicted with the new diamond mana symbol instead of the generic mana symbol. For example –  (◊) instead of (1).

Nissa and Chandra will each be getting new Planeswalker cards but despite their involvement in the story, there does not appear to be a Jace.

Surge is this set’s new keyword. A spell may be cast for the Surge cost if another spell was played by the player or their team mate.  The revealed card (Crush of Tentacles) gives the player not only a slightly reduced casting cost but also an additional effect if they were able to play the spell using Surge.

Two Headed Giant is encouraged for sealed events to play off of some of the new mechanics.

We should see much more revealed (through official channels) as we get closer to launch, but so far Battle for Zendikar’s finale looks like it could be fun and interesting.







Greg Grondin
Gregory Grondin is a full time Systems Analyst working for Mariner Innovations. He also works as a weight loss consultant for Weight Watchers and is part owner of Heroes' Beacon. You can follow his web comic series at http://www.spacepawdyssey.com

Greg is a fan of gaming and comics in general and an avid collector of Transformers figures.